technology

Samsung Galaxy S5 touchscreen loose contact repair

I have no idea how common this (supposed) problem is. Google showed quite a lot of posts about the Samsung Galaxy S5 touchscreen not working, but usually the posts don’t provide a solution that differs much from „perform a soft or hard reset“ or „see if you have a screen cover attached“. So I suppose non-working Galasy S5 displays are not entirely unusual, but the reasons for their not working may, of course, vary. In fact, I’ve noted the touchscreen will sometimes be unresponsive for some time when the phone is performing calcultation intensive tasks.

In this case, however, the lack of response seemed to be more fundamental. About ten soft resets would not bring the phone back to life, but at some point, it seemed to register the touches in slow motion, and only about every tenth touch. So it became more and more apparent that there is a loose connection at work somewhere.

I did not want to open the phone – as I could still have it replaced by my mobile phone operator – so I had to look up pictures of disassembled Galaxy S5 units to see if it could be possible to specifically shake the phone or apply pressure to a specific area. Turns out, that was a very good idea. A quick Google search led me to this article on ifixt.com which allowed me to I identify both the positions of the display connector and the touchscreen controller chip.

In my case, it seems the touchscreen controller chip was the culprit, as even a modest amount of pressure applied to the round area above the SD-card holder was sufficient to instantly wake up the touchscreen. To make things even easier for anyone reading this, I’ve just taken a picture of the spot.

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technology

iPad, HyPad.

So, MacTablet day is over, and what have we learnt? Steve Jobs can’t do magic, either. The emphasis Apple put on the iPad’s assumed magical abilities in the official presentation video, in which Apple developers do appear a bit, well, over the top (not to say, enchanted). And, I think, Apple is actually very much aware of the device’s lack of magic – the iPad will cost half of the rumoured prices.

Apart from that – it’s just what everybody expected. A great looking device taking design and UI cues from both the iPhone and the iPod touch, with a proprietary CPU that appears to be relatively fast and economic in its use of energy.  10 hours of battery life in such a sleek device, that’s definitely quite something.

It will be interesting to see whether extended typing will be bearable on the virtual keyboard, but initial reports indicate it’s probably not going to be. The screen is not actually high resolution – 1024*768 in a 9,7“ screen is, well just barely above standard. It could be a good screen, but that remains to be seen.

But even so, it is an LED screen, and that’s really something entirely different from the electronic ink technology used by, say, Amazon’s Kindle. Apple’s bookstore will probably sell books, but reading on a backlit device will not be as convenient as it is on an e-ink screen. I don’t think it’s too surprising Amazon’s stock was up after the iPad’s presentation – investors probably realized the iPad won’t kill the Kindle. Currently, alas, there is just no „best of both worlds“ – e-ink is not available in colour for mass consumption and neither is any other non-LED based technology.

The iPad apparently also doesn’t feature a camera, so it’s useless for video calls.

But the device’s biggest problem may turn out to be what is Apple’s huge strength in the phone market (- and, if Microsoft is clever, an opportunity to regain lost ground in the market it pioneered  with a „Windows7 tablet PC edition 2010″…): The system is currently closed, and Apple controls who gets to put what on the system. Flash, for example, is not currently supported. And that’s a pretty big problem for a web-surfing tablet, and ‚pretty big‘ is probably an understatement.

We’ll see, in three months everyone will be able to do a hands-on test.

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technology

Alpha Geeks

Tim O’Reilly of the O’Reilly Network gave a keynote address titled Watching the „Alpha Geeks“: OS X and the Next Big Thing at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in May this year. It was a speech about the concept of watching, well, Alpha Geeks‘ [first in the digital foodchain ;-)] and hackers‘ personal hard- and software innovations and analysing these as „weak signals“ to catch a glimpse of the technological future.

One example he referred to was the story of a hacker-slash-developer, who is using speech synthesis (a basic version of which is included in WindowsXP) to listen to chatroom discussions while coding. O’Reilly concludes:

„Now I’ll guarantee that lots of people will routinely be converting text to speech in a few years, and I know it because the hackers are already doing it. It’s been possible for a long time, but now it’s ripening toward the mainstream.“

Ripening towards the mainstream? Get this: the furture is here already. Last week an older (and I’m talking 45 here, at least!) guy at my gym asked me about my mp3 player. Today he showed me his new iPod-like acquisition, which even includes a small (but optically magnifiable) screen to watch video.

But his main interest, he told me, is to listen to scientific documents while running on the belt. I am slightly impressed, I have to say. When’s the last time you listened to a .pdf-file at 13 km/h?

I guess running will lose the reputation to free your head rather quickly now…

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